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WSW ready for Adelaide grand final fight

NZN 24/04/2016 Emma Kemp

Coach Tony Popovic is readier than ever to get the A-League title monkey off Western Sydney's back, he just won't call it a redemption story.

The Wanderers will play a third grand final in four years next Sunday, after sealing the greatest comeback in A-League history against Brisbane.

After Romeo Castelen's hat-trick stunningly helped transform a 3-0 deficit into a 5-4 triumph at Pirtek Stadium, Popovic can feel confident of giving minor premiers Adelaide a good shake in what will be a blockbuster decider.

For the coach, triumph would wash away the pain of previous grand-final defeats to Central Coast (2012-13) and the Roar (2013-14).

But he doesn't want his mostly new squad to see it like that.

"This is a different group," Popovic said.

"We've got a few survivors from year one here, but we need this group to make history in their own right.

"And we have a chance for that next week.

"You can only look forward to a final.

"It will be a special week and I want to enjoy it.

"But come Sunday there's one job to do, and that's win."

Popovic watched Adelaide's 4-1 semi-final victory over Melbourne City and described their form as excellent.

But he warned Guillermo Amor's men that a Premiers Plate only counts for so much in Australian football.

"They've been the best team in the league, that's why they finished first," he said.

"But the grand final winner is the champion.

"That we've accepted since day one."

Whichever way it goes, the A-League will have a sixth champion to join past winners Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle, Brisbane and Central Coast.

Popovic admitted the Wanderers had achieved remarkable things in four short years of existence, with an Asian Champions League and a Premiers Plate to add to their championship near-misses.

It's a long way to have come since the club's first-ever A-League match in Parramatta, a 0-0 draw against the Mariners in front of 10,000 fans.

"It sounds good," Popovic said.

"I'm proud of everyone at the club. Not just the team, but this football club is special.

"I'm honoured to be head coach, to take our club to another final, and our fans who I'm sure will go in huge numbers to celebrate with this group this week."

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